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Setting the Standard for Gen Z

Setting the Standard for Gen Z

Written by Fran Smith (BGN's Gen Z’er)

Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2010. Not only are they the best-educated generation but the most diverse. Gen Z'ers aren't afraid to speak their minds and tackle social issues head-on. They grew up during the rise of social media platforms, from Facebook to Instagram and most recently to TikTok. Making them true digital natives with a life-long experience of technology.

They have a ‘keep it real’ attitude and look for brands that emulate this. With a craving for authentic brands that break through the over-saturated market and demand attention.

From childhood nostalgia to maximalism; here's how five Gen Z brands are Setting the Standard.

1: Youth Foria

A make-up brand bursting with fun and a hint of childhood nostalgia.

This brand would bring out anyone’s inner child.

A key feature of the product design is the interlocking lipsticks and plastic platform, which feel reminiscent of Lego. Like Lego, customers are encouraged to be playful with the product by creating combinations and collecting.

The branding uses a ‘maximalism’ clashing colour palette with fluorescent yellow, blue, purple, pink, and white all used in equal measure. The typographic language is equally as bold with both condensed and extended typefaces used together throughout.

2: Finds

A video-based fashion marketplace that demands your attention.

Finds aims to re-brand thrifting as a new form of self-expression away from the idea of a dusty charity shop and into the digital video first space.

It uses a striking colour palette with the use of fluorescent yellow and bright purple. Post-pandemic there seems to be a strong desire for colourful maximalism. While the colours are bold the brand still feels clean and digestible.

The energetic typographic mark is memorable and unique, conveying a sense of movement even when static, representing the ever-moving world of fashion reselling. The playful illustrations are also reminiscent of emojis, a visual language Gen-z know very well.

3: Netflix

Putting the MAX into maximalism.

Netflix did not hold back on the branding for Brazil’s Tudum, a four-day festival that due to the pandemic couldn’t go ahead in person. So, they created a 116-page almanac for the fans.

The branding is made up of layers of sticker designs, every time you look you see something new. The typography is striking with exaggerated drop shadows along with lots of loud layers of type and photography reminiscent of 90s teen magazines.

4: StarFace

Rebranding acne from shameful to Instagrammable

StarFace’s brand mission is to remove the stigma around acne and make it fun, something to embrace, undeniably subverting social norms.

The brand’s main product is fun little sticky hydrocolloid star pimple patches that can heal and hide your acne simultaneously. The design resembles a gold star you’d get as a kid in primary school or ones you’d get free in magazines. The body copy is reminiscent of 90's computer chat rooms and captures the gen-z tone of voice with swear words and playful language often personifying the product itself.

5: Chamberlain Coffee

Coffee for a new generation

Created by YouTube sensation Emma Chamberlain, Chamberlain Coffee's branding perfectly captures the creator's personality, it's laidback, fun, and colourful. Interestingly, Chamberlain coffee represents something more than just the coffee; it’s a lifestyle, an attitude.

The brand uses four cute brand characters that relate to Emma’s characteristics such as the Early Bird, the Night Owl, the Careless Cat, and the Social Dog. The website and other brand touchpoints don’t feel overly 'salesy' at all. Instead, they use playful and surprising animation prompts to keep buyers engaged.

So, there you have it, five brands that are setting the standard when it comes to targeting this much sought-after young target.

From making their mark on dusty and traditional categories to putting the more is more back into branding after years of stripping back often all of the personality from brands.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how we can help you raise the standard of your brand or when it comes to reaching your target audience.

We’re BGN, a brand-led design and creative agency and we help ambitious brands set the standard in their space.